Designer Hall of Fame

There are many great designers out there, and especially in the lore from the golden age, but I'm not to familiar with them. I thought it might be interesting to discuss some of the great designers for engineering skill and knowledge, business integrity, and ultimatley quality of their products. My short list a "hall of fame" if you will of designers working today are:

Nelson Pass, Pass Labs
Charles Hansen, Ayre
Roger Modjeski, Music Reference
Ken Stevens, Convergent Audio Technolgy (CAT)
Kevin Hayes, VAC

and how could I leave Jeff Rowland off? Well it is a short list. Who would you nominate?
Post removed 
Rick Freyer & Keith Johnson, Spectral Audio
Dan D'Agostino Krell

Gayle Sanders Martin Logan

Ted Denney III Synergistic Research
Jeff Nelson of Boulder Amps, John Curl of Parasound, Dave Wilson of Wilson Audio, ........
I second Tvad's choice of
Vladimir Lamm
And add
Kara Chafee
Ken Shindo
Paul W. Klipsch would have to be included IMO.
Scott Frankland - MFA & Electron Kinetics
Peter Walker - Quad
My mistake Scott Frankland is associated with Wavestream Kinetics
Am I showing my age by mentioning William Zane Johnson(ARC), David Hafler(Dyanco,etc.), John Dahlquist, and John Curl(the Levinson JC-2)? Each of these men produced designs that rocked/created the "high-end" world.
Gilbert Yeung of Blue Circle Audio
Lloyd Walker - Walker Audio
Mick Maloney - Supratek

I will second Ralph Karsten, Ted Denny
Rodman99999, no list is complete without the men you mention, and I am very remiss for not have included Ralph Karsten who has proabably done more than anyone else to bring a well engineered, reliable, and excellent sounding OTL to the market.
I'd like to add: Radomir Bozovich of TacT.
Peter Walker QUAD. RIP
The Daddy Of Them All
Thomas Edison
Bobby Palkovic of Merlin Music
Certainly Jim Thiel belongs on this esteemed list.
Jim Winey Magnapan Fame
Richard Vandersteen Himself
Mark Levinson The Man
Victor Khomenko of BAT.
This thread would be much more interesting if you had to say exactly why this designer should be included in this list. And saying, "...becasue they have made (IMHO) great amps for years..." shouldn't count.
Stereophile does a much better job of remembering David Hafler's history than I could here, although they pass on how he popularized the "ultralinear" tube circuit:( ). Bill Johnson single-handedly resurrected tubes( with the SP-2 & 3 preamps/D-150 amp), after SS had blown them in the weeds during the sixties, and spawned an industry that is embraced by all those of us that love the sound of live music. He and Jim Winey teamed up back then and sold Johnson's pieces, demo-ing them with Magneplanars as a system. About the time that Audio Research gear became more widely distributed, and Jon Dahlquist released the DQ-10, The first time-aligned/matched & free standing driver(all but the woofer) speaker system in production: John Curl designed the JC-2 which was probably the first piece of High-end" gear ever: a little negative feedback to reduce the IM distortion that plagued SS, pure class A push-pull, a separate board for moving-coil cartridges, and an outrageous(for the times) price of $1050.00. The piece sounded so good for the day: it forced tube designers to make their equipment sound better. We have all benefitted from the designs of these men, and the strivings for better sound that their designs started. AND ABSOLUTLY: It all started with Thomas Alva Edison, and the machine he actually intended just to take dictation!!! Is that what you had in mind Nrenter? I agree- the background does make the nomination more interesting.
I second Victor Khomenko of BAT for introducing the 6H30 super tube and the innovations associated with that tube.
How about the very underrated Frank Van Alstine?
What about Marantz & Dahlquist! They started whole trends and audiophilia.
John Otvos, creator of the Waveform Mach 7-13 speakers. Still an incredible value with glorious sound if you can find an owner willing to part with them.
Wlliam Johnson of ARC, Sidney Corderman of Mcintosh, David Hafler to name a few.
Don't forget Henry Kloss, and one of my favorites Paul Hale (Hale speakers)
I wonder if Audiogon could arrange a mechanism where we could elect 20 folks year one and a slate every year for additions. I find the tale of the designers, their approaches to technical issues, and to some extent their success in the market to be interesting. When you get to talk with or meet with some of these folks you find they all have an interesting story and views on the art of making equipment that works well and sounds good. I was originally thinking of amp/pre amp folks when I posed the question, but of course that was a bit limiting wasn't it, and an explanation of why the person is mentioned is essential, it is proabably the core of what would appear on their "plaque". So in the speaker category:

1. Bobby Palkovic, Merlin Systems - for perfecting the 2-way speaker and finding an innovative solution to producing satisfying bass from this design.

2. Ed Vilchur - Acusitic Research - for succesfully implemeting the acoustic suspension principle.

3. Richard Vandersteen - Vandersteen Audio - for producing highly successful and "affordable" speakers using time & phase coherence as their underlying principal.

4. Peter Walker & Jim Winey, Quad and Magenplanar - for perfecting the electrostatic design principle.

5. Paul Klipsch - Klipsch - for pioneering the horn loading principle.
Joe Fratus from Art Audio.
I would also like to nominate the original designer of
Egglestons speakers..Bill Eggleston?And Joe Fratus from
Art Audio.
I also get the feeling that John Chapman of Bent Audio will one day be elected - for his work on passive TVCs - high quality, high functionality, great business ethics, and of course great sound in the right system.
Mike Sanders of Quicksilver - for consistently high quality, affordable and reliabile tube design without relying on advertising or hobknobbing with industry media wonks.

Who invented the transistor?
Ralph Karsten of Atma-Sphere for his excellent OTL designs and continued research and improvement of those designs.
If we use your criteria of "......some of the great designers for engineering skill and knowledge...........", then this list is somewhat flawed. The list, as it stands now, looks to me as if it was assembled from image, as opposed to actual engineering know-how.

Either that, or you will have to re-define your criteria. In that case, it might could stand.
Since I saw Ralph's name for Atmasphere how about David Hafler for his amps and pre amps.
I second Bobby P and add Paul McGowan.
Jud Barber of Joule Electra for giving us another choice for OTLs along with Ralph Karsten. Futterman started it all and although his amps were problematic I feel that these two guys should be honored for realizing that OTLs are the way to go with the proper speaker.
Hmmm......the late John Iverson. Interesting choice that I had completely forgotten about. He had some original ideas.
I can think of a bunch of them, but, how about Bill Firebaugh of Well Tempered. Here is an example of real ingenuity and thinking out of the box. Whether you like the sound of his turntables or not, you have to admit it shows original thinking. Look at the platter play and so simple and efficient. Also on that note, lets not forget Ed Vilchur of Acoustic Research. The father of the modern suspended turntable. Everything since has been influenced by his work.
I agree. Vilchur does qualify on at least two fronts.
Alex Peychev, APL Hi-Fi, for his digital component designs and other audiophile level products.

Lest Alex be dismissed as a "modder", would you disagree that Carroll Shelby, who designed the AC Cobra using modified elements, was/is a great auto designer and that the Shelby Cobras are legendary automobiles?

Alex's digital players consist of his designs that are built with the use of excellent OEM transports and retaining other useful OEM elements, but there is a complete APL rework that is unique in design (and resulting sound quality).

He also offers products that are fully designed and built by APL.
I would think being a modifier is no disqualifier; if you are a great one. Alex's reputation is of being a very skilled practitioner.
If this was ever true about Alex's products it no longer is. Alex's NWO series of CDPs, expecially the NWO 3.0 has been referred to as the best digital in the world by almost all who have heard it, better than SOTA competetors, whether they cost more or less than the NWO. I would stand behind my earlier post with this as justification for the classification as legendary.
I would ad Peter Snell to the list, the Type A was,is and will always be a great speaker
Let's not forget D.T.N. Willamson whose circuit design from the 40s is perhaps the most copied and influential in tube amp history.
I stupidly neglected to mention Henry Kloss who in addition to many other contribtutions to the audio field, codesigned the AR1 with Ed Vilchur. We also need to remember H.H. Scott for his contribtuions related to tuner technology.
Let's not forget John Dunlavy of Duntech and Dunlavy Audio fame. His speaker designs can still hold thie own with the best of them. RIP John.
Alastair Robertson-Aikman of The Scale Model Equipment Company